Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Customer Service Experiences

OK, so I've been in contact with a large portion of the prepaid service providers out there. And some people may be wondering how each carrier's customer service measures up. Here, in a nutshell, are my experiences with the various prepaids that my eight (!) cell phones spread over; if anyone wants to add their experiences, please add a comment to this post...

TRACFONE (Nokia 1100, Motorola c139 on Cingular, Nokia 2126 on Verizon)These guys are getting more helpful, and sometimes I get someone on the ther end who sounds like he's in the States, which is really nice given that Tracfone is a pretty big company. When I had a problem with my Nokia 1100's number, right after activation, their executive resolutions department, whse number I have since lost, got the situation fixed with not too much difficulty. The only bad thing about these guys' CS is their website. The refer-a-friend probram is almost always a wreck, saying your phone isn't valid or whatnot, and sometimes it isn't valid because you tried too late or whatnot. And the 72-our wait period for refer-a-friend minutes is sometimes uncomfortably longer. But when the minutes come in everything's good...so I'd say their Customer Sevice, bar their RAF program, is pretty good...

BOOST MOBILE (Motorola i285, i450, had i415)These guys have the highest ratio of total Americans to otherwise that I've seen in prepaid, or at least close to it. Unfortunately, they don't seem to know what they're doing too well. I'm still trying, after my fourth call or so, to fix an issue with TeleNav on my i450 (it won't let me buy additional routes) and they keep saying "Here, we'll send the settings; turn your phone off and on"...to no avail. Too bad...I'd say these guys are merely OK.

MOVIL LISTO (Siemens a56)Um...the reps I've talked to are, to put it bluntly, unprofessional. Sorry, but every rep I've talked to seems a little annoyed and a little clueless, though they usually know just enough to get done what I really, really need to get done (namely setting up voicemail). But generally this company's custoer service is indie in a bad way.

BEYOND WIRELESS TDMA (had Nokia 3560, 5165)These guys were indie in a good way. They generally knew their stuff and helped a lot in setting me up and answering my questions. Heck, customer service even worked in the roaming area! Too bad Beyond TDMA can't do any new activations, and the entwork is roaming in my area, and their new GSM wing seems to have customer service reps that are a but more arrogant, taking a card from the deck of MovilListo, or maybe vice versa. But they were good. Really good.

T-MOBILE TO GO (Nokia 6010, probably soon Nokia 6030)These people are generally helpful, professional, etc. I can see why T-Mobile got the J D Power award for Customer Service several times in a row. For what I need to know, they know what to do. Unfortunately, their customer service seems to be degrading a little, and it takes about 4 keypresses through their voice menu to get to the reps. Sometimes though they don't know the answers to my questions, or give answers that are obviously incorrect\uninformed (they said, as I was calling them from a SunCom tower, that their only roaming partner for To Go is Cingular). So they have to settle for a mere "Good" in my estimation. Yes, that's right, Tracfone bests them. Then again, both carriers have started charging for incoming texts onall their services, but Tracfone receently made their minutes cheaper, while T-Mobile's minutes are now a tad more expensive on one of their cards.

STI MOBILE (LG 225, had LG 5225, Samsung a820)I'm, quite frankly, not happy with these guys. Their terms now are such that they seem to be moving out of the prepaid space and into the hybrid space. That aside, their customer service can do basic stuff, like enabling and disabling web and answering various questions, if everything works right, but at times they don't knw answers to questions, or can't explain why I can't do this or haven't received that (this as in web, that as in my $100 rebate). And if they say they'll call you in whatever amount of time, they won't. They never have called me back. And something's fishy when, 7 1\2 months after I sent it in, my rebate check still isn't here! Their CS needs improvement. As do their pricing. Otherwise I'll gladly see them out of business.

And that's all the experience I've had with the various carriers that I've actually had phones with. I hope this is a worthy 200th post. By the way, happy birth day Go4Prepaid! Somewhere around today you're one year old! I would have some sort of sweepstakes, but right now I have to funnel all money into getting a laptop for school. Sorry, everyone. Maybe when I get my 6030 something will pop up...but stay tuned...

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